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Neurodiversity and Digestion: 13 Ways to Regulate Gut Health 

ginger, lemon, hot water, honey and mint
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I often operate on extreme highs and lows: either I have a ton of energy and I get everything done or I have so little that getting out of bed takes all the energy I have. And when my energy levels are unregulated, my digestion is too. 

When I have too much energy, my mind won’t stop and my body gets dragged along with it. Ready or not, welcome to only getting five hours of sleep per night. To not having a calm time for my body or my mind to relax either in the morning or at night. To both waking up and going to sleep in full drive. To feeling scattered. Like my mind and body are disconnected. And like time is both speeding up and slowing down.

I try to take care of myself during times like this. To exercise. To do yoga. To eat right. To drink enough water. To take my supplements. But when my schedule is off, sometimes I forget what I need to do or there simply isn’t enough time for things. Like eating. So I have to make due with what’s available. Which sometimes means having to eat things I wasn’t prepared to eat. 

Other times, when my energy is completely drained, I oversleep. I have a difficult time moving let alone exercising. My thinking is foggy and there’s a haze over my actions. Nothing feels like it’s in real time. Things move slowly, and thus, so do I.

When I’m like this, I have no appetite at all. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t eat. Because then I’ll have even less energy and risk having even more neurological setbacks. Or, if I don’t realize my energy is low, and I eat a big meal, it will take me double or triple the time to digest it, causing me a lot of discomfort that’s hard to shake.

So in an effort to keep myself regulated, here are some things I do to aid my digestion and to maintain my gut health:*

  1. Take probiotics. I find this to be crucial to regulating my gut health. I take one before bed and one when I wake up.
  2. Take a natural digestive enzyme. I like papaya-based enzymes, and I stick to solely plant-based supplements. 
  3. Take a magnesium supplement. I find this not only helps regulate my digestion, but my breathing and my moods too. 
  4. Drink kombucha tea. Especially on days I’m having a difficult time digesting my food, kombucha gives me the boost of probiotics and nutrients my body needs. Anything with ginger is extra helpful. 
  5. Drink digestive teas. Some of my favorites include chamomile, ginger and dandelion root. Hot water with fresh ginger and lemon works too.
  6. Drink at least 60-80 ounces of water and add lemon. I squeeze fresh lemon juice into a 32-ounce container and add ice and water. I find that by my second round, I can already feel my digestive juices flowing better.
  7. Drink smoothies when you’re having a difficult time digesting. My favorite is kale, spinach, unsweetened almond milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter and frozen cherries. 
  8. Limit or eliminate gluten, dairy, sugar and alcohol. As much as I love them, they cause the most inflammation in my body, and the most discomfort, so limiting them to times I know my body can digest them properly is always in my best interests. 
  9. Eat cruciferous foods when your digestion is functioning well. I rely on kale, cabbage and cauliflower the most.
  10. Do some form of cardio. I walk or run mostly, and I like to swim when I can.
  11. Do yoga, specifically twists. When my digestion is not the best, I get on my mat and search, Yoga for digestion, on my phone. There’s always a video to show me what to do.
  12. Practice intermittent fasting. I find that giving my digestion time to do its job, especially after indulging the day before, allows for better gut health overall. 
  13. Soak in Epsom salt baths. Doing this not only relaxes my muscles and tissues, but it often soothes my tummy-aches too.

I wish you a well-regulated system and healthy digestion. 

*You are different than me. The information I provide is based on my experience. Always consult your intuition and team of experts regarding your own health.

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Neurodiversity and Digestion: 13 Ways to Regulate Gut Health 


Jenna Grace

Jenna Grace is a neurodivergent writer and educator with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sensory processing disorder (SPD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) diagnoses. She writes and speaks about topics including neurodiversity and SPD in order to help others and to explore new meaning. Visit her website or Twitter, @jennagracewrite.


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APA Reference
Grace, J. (2019). Neurodiversity and Digestion: 13 Ways to Regulate Gut Health . Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/neurodivergent/2019/09/neurodiversity-and-digestion-13-ways-to-regulate-gut-health/

 

Last updated: 13 Sep 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.